Conducting Area


Colorado State University offers an outstanding program in graduate conducting, with instrumental and choral specializations; undergraduate conducting courses are also available. CSU provides a nationally-renowned conducting faculty, superb facilities designed for conducting instruction, and high quality ensembles for laboratory experiences.

Study With

Wes Kenney

Director of Orchestras, Professor, Conducting

(970) 491-6912

James Kim

Director of Choral Activities

(970) 491-6515

Rebecca Phillips

Director of Bands
Associate Professor of Music

(970) 491-1584

Richard Frey

Associate Director of Bands
Assistant Professor of Music

(970) 491-5973

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Conducting

Students take a rigorous academic program in theory, composition, history, orchestration, and secondary instruments which prepares them for the level of musicianship required of the modern conductor. Additionally, students perform in high quality ensembles, such as choir, wind ensemble, symphonic band, orchestra, and jazz bands, which are directed by some of the finest conductors in the nation. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of conducting in a beginning conducting class in the fall of their junior year. In the spring of the junior year, students take an advanced conducting class focusing in either instrumental or vocal conducting. Students receive hands-on conducting experience with the wind ensemble, symphonic band, choirs, and in their student-teaching (music education).

Graduate Conducting

CSU’s Conducting Program offers Master of Music in Conducting, with choral and instrumental specializations. Graduate students take rigorous academic coursework, participate in weekly lessons with their principal teachers, and receive opportunities to conduct the school's major ensembles. Advanced conducting courses are taught by James Kim (choral), Wes Kenney (orchestral), and Rebecca Phillips, and Richard Frey (band). Opportunities exist for graduate conductors to conduct repertoire from symphonic, operatic, and theatrical repertoire. In addition, the curriculum includes developing a score preparation system, Laban method of movement, and rehearsal techniques. The school is well-located to take advantage of a multitude of musical enrichment opportunities in the region. Graduate students in conducting are eligible for several teaching assistantships, which provide an opportunity for direct supervision of choral and instrumental ensembles in the department, as well as the chance to assist in the direction of all the major ensembles at CSU, including the choirs, bands, orchestras, opera, jazz bands, marching band, and pep bands.


Distance Graduate Degree with Summer Residency

This exciting and unique degree is designed for music educators, enabling you to earn a master’s degree while continuing to work full-time. With the exception of a two-week summer seminar held on the CSU campus, all course work can be completed online or using your own school orchestra, choir, or band as your conducting laboratory.


Conducting Events

Conducting News

Summer Conducting Seminar Sets Sail with H.M.S. Pinafore


Annual Concert Features CSU Master’s Conducting Students For what has become a fun summer tradition, the CSU music program, in collaboration with Opera Fort Collins apprentice artists, presents the Summer Conducting Seminar Final Concert. The seminar, a Master’s program designed for secondary music educators in band, orchestra, and choir, presents its annual concert-staging of a […]

CSU Presents Annual High School Honor Band Festival


Featuring performances from CSU’s Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony CSU’s High School Honor Band Festival kicks off on Thursday, February 26 with the Symphonic Band’s performance of Borrowed at 7 p.m. The Wind Symphony continues the festival with a continuation of their series, Elements, this time focusing on the element of Water on Friday, February […]